A new Huggies survey has revealed more than 5.8 million Australian parents admitted they have felt directly shamed for their parenting approach, with about 50 per cent saying it occurred at least once a month.
Celebrity mum Snezana Wood said as a mother in the public eye, she was exposed to the realities of parent-shaming.
“In an amazing, yet vulnerable stage of life, parent-shaming can so easily make you question your own parenting skills and create doubt within the choices you make for your kids,” she said.
The majority of parents surveyed said online forums provided an easy platform for parent-shaming.
More than one-in-three parents said they questioned their abilities as a parent, and two-in-five women experienced increased anxiety levels.
About one-in-two women were affected by comments, compared to just one-in-four men — and parents of newborns were most at-risk.
Parent-shaming has also been shown to take a toll on social life and personal relationships, with about 17 per cent of parents admitting that criticism negatively impacted their relationships with their friends and family.
Psychologist Sabina Read said many parents were suffering from mental health issues as a result.
“We see that mums are typically quicker to criticise themselves and take comments to heart, often devastating their confidence as a parent,” she said.
“Sadly, this can even have a knock-on effect on children who feel their parents’ anxieties.”
Huggies Be Comfortable in Your Skin campaign aims to end parent-shaming by showcasing Australian families and their everyday struggles.
Huggies marketing head Lauren Crawley said the campaign would encourage parents to support one another.
“In a bid to get people talking about and ultimately ending parent-shaming, Huggies wants to celebrate all parents and empower them to feel comfortable in their parenting abilities and choices,” she said.